The Texas law SB 8. has one that has received a tremendous amount of criticism for a number of reasons and from a variety of professional and citizen sources. The latest may surprise some though, the two newest conservative members of the Supreme Court. Kavanaugh and Barrett may have their personal views on abortion but is not preventing their criticism of the Texas law.
From CBS Austin,
WASHINGTON — Over the course of the three-hour hearing covering two different lawsuits on Texas’ new controversial abortion ban, two conservative U.S. Supreme Court justices raised concerns over the new law’s potential unintended consequences for other constitutional rights – leaving abortion providers and pro-life advocates optimistic even in a conservative courtroom.
On Monday, the U.S. Supreme Court listened to oral arguments from abortion providers and the U.S. Department of Justice – or DOJ – over whether they are even allowed to seek a federal court decision on the new Texas law. They are also asking to restore a lower federal district court’s decision to pause enforcement of the law while the legal process plays out.
At the center of the legal scrutiny was the enforcement mechanism of Senate Bill 8, which went into effect September 1 and bans abortions when a fetal heartbeat is first detected. This can happen as early as six weeks, when most women do not know they’re even pregnant. The law makes limited exceptions for medical emergencies, but not for victims of rape or incest. Additionally, doctors have stated that is too early for a heartbeat to actually exist because a fetus’ heart’s chambers are not developed that early, and the sound that is heard on the ultrasound is actually electrical impulses.
Instead of state officials handing down criminal punishments, the law places the enforcement of the law in the hands of private citizens – even if not related to the person or decision – suing abortion providers, patients getting an illegal abortion in Texas, or anyone who helps that patient get an illegal abortion – which includes someone driving that patient to the clinic, for example.